Recent App Reviews
…making learning fun again!
Last year our school district was fortunate to receive a $12,000 grant to fund a handheld computing project. We chose the iPod touch (a.k.a., "iTouch") as our handheld solution for a variety of reasons. The iTouch is fast and portable. The students stay on task because we can control the apps they are using. There are apps available in all subject areas that focus on specific classroom objectives. We purchased 18 iTouch units for our high school and 30 units for our middle school, grades 5-8. They were implemented as "portable labs" (15 to 20 units in a small bag that can be used by any of the classroom teachers). With many different teachers using the iTouch sets, we learned a lot about using them in the classroom.
Living in the shadow of the iPhone and iPad, the iPod Touch
is the best of both worlds for this freelance illustrator
When I received it as a gift, I didn't anticipate just how much I would use my new 8G iPod touch (a.k.a., iTouch). Within a short time, it would become indispensable in my professional and personal life, but first I had to scale a mountainous setup procedure.
Overcoming activation headaches
For starters, I had to activate it using the most recent version of iTunes. It's pretty ingenious of Apple to require activation via iTunes. You have to set up an account and give them your credit card info. This makes it very easy to impulse-buy music, TV shows, movies, apps, and more. It creates a virtual pipeline from your bank account to Apple's!
From a Mystery Writer's Perspective
My husband, Aaron Elkins, and I have been involved in the mystery publishing world for almost 30 years, and somewhere along the way, it's lost the romance it once had. The book became a unit.
Integrating the iPod Touch into a 3rd grade classroom
"If we teach today as we taught yesterday; we rob our children of tomorrow." – John Dewey
Every 3rd grade student in Juliana Pearson and Kent Jacobson's classroom has an iPod touch (iTouch) to use as an integrated classroom learning tool. Travel with them through a typical school day.
Latest iPhone related news
Want to help with the Oil spill in the Gulf? There's an App for that
A team of developers has created a free iPhone app that allows members of the public to report the presence of oil from the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico.
Creating a visual celebration of the bicycle
I discovered, somewhat by chance, an unexpected power within the iPhone on a long bicycle ride early last year. A chance encounter with blooming dandelions stopped my ride, and I took a photo of them with my iPhone. Later, as I played with the photo in a quiet setting, using a number of image editing apps, I realized I had discovered a new genre, which I call, "Cycle Art." Simply put, Cycle Art is a mobile, digital celebration of the bicycle.
The dream of thrashing out a hot guitar lick as a rock star is as pervasive today as it ever has been before. For the Baby Boomers and Gen X'ers whose teenage years didn't have the imaginary benefit of plastic guitar controllers connected to videogame consoles, they had to learn the dream the old fashioned way - acquiring an electric guitar, an amp and the skills necessary to play the fundamental power chords. Today's younger generation are being introduced to this dream first by basic basic rhythm and colors on a Guitar Hero or Rock Band controller, but next generation games in this genre are already taking the concept to the next level by connecting an actual guitar with actual strings and frets with the ultimate goal of teaching gamers how to play a guitar. Hence a
Macworld has an article about a new offering from Metaio that excites me: image-basd augmented reality. The whole idea of augmented reality is so cool: point your phone's camera at something, and when you view the live image on your iPhone you'll see related information or content superimposed on that image. Think of how useful this would be to tourists: you point your phone at the Eiffel Tower, and your phone superimposes information about it. Augmented reality has already been available, but it was GPS-based.
I’ve never really understood the appeal of the sliding puzzle games. Aside from the picture on the front of the tiles, once you’ve played one they all seem the same. Fortunately, given the right developer even this type of game can rise from the mundane to become something interesting. Enter Bugsy, the sliding tile game with a purpose. Instead of a picture the tiles are composed of tracks, and you must guide a friendly little lady bug so that it can cause all the buds along the edges of the board to bloom into flowers. It still suffers from a couple of the issues that always made this type of game frustrating, but in the end there are enough interesting aspects to Bugsy to make it worth delving into the genre at least for this game.
Electronic engineers and enthusiasts seeking a comprehensive collection of electronics calculators and fundamental electronics reference materials will want to take a closer look at a new iPad application called Electronic Toolbox HD. Based on a previous release of the utility for the iPhone, Electronic Toolbox HD contains over 20 different categories from a resistor color code calculator to a comprehensive (though not exhaustive) list of integrated circuits (ICs) and their corresponding chip diagrams. The application covers a spectrum of electronics features: